Armed Career Criminal from Santa Fe Sentenced to Fifteen Years for Unlawful Possession of Firearm
ALBUQUERQUE – Joshua Gomez, 24, of Santa Fe, N.M., was sentenced today to 15 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for being an armed career criminal. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 1st Judicial District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco, Acting Special Agent in Charge Tom Hernandez of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, and Chief Eric Garcia of the Santa Fe Police Department.
Gomez was arrested on Feb. 14, 2014, based on a criminal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was indicted on March 11, 2014 and charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition on Jan. 8, 2014, in Santa Fe County, N.M. According to court records, Gomez was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition in Jan. 2014 because he previously had been convicted of many felony offenses, including possession of a firearm by a felon, aggravated fleeing from a police officer, receiving stolen property, residential burglary, burglary, receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle and possession of heroin.
According to court filings, on Jan. 8, 2014, officers of the Santa Fe Police Department and HSI agents arrested Gomez on an outstanding arrest warrant. During a search incident to arrest, Gomez informed the officers that he had a gun and gestured toward the front pocket of his sweatshirt where the officers could identify the barrel of a pistol. After the officers seized a loaded pistol from the pocket of Gomez’s sweatshirt, the officers asked Gomez if he was a convicted felon. Gomez admitted being a felon and acknowledged that he was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. Gomez was arrested on state charges which were later dismissed in favor of federal prosecution.
Gomez pled guilty to the indictment on June 26, 2014. Because of his status as an armed career criminal, Gomez faced an enhanced sentence of not less than 15 years in prison.
This case was investigated by the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST Team) from HSI’s Albuquerque office and the Santa Fe Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Holland S. Kastrin.
The case was prosecuted as part of a federal anti-violence initiative that targets “the worst of the worst” offenders for federal prosecution. Under this initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal law enforcement agencies work with New Mexico’s District Attorneys and state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to target violent or repeat offenders for federal prosecution with the goal of removing repeat offenders from communities in New Mexico for as long as possible.